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Taraba To Pay N100m For UNICEF’s Nutrition Fund

Taraba state commissioner of Health, Dr. BordiyaBuma, has said that plans are in the pipeline for the governor Agbu Kefas led administration to pay N100 million counterpart fund to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) to combat severe malnutrition among children in the state.


The sum of US$3.4 under the Child Nutrition Fund (CNF), was said to have been set aside by UNICEF to tackle severe malnutrition especially among aged 6-23 months across the country.


The commissioner in an interview  reiterated the readiness of the incumbent administration in the state to key into the fund.


Stressing that plans are already in the pipeline for the government to pay It N100 million counterpart fund, the government, as made known by him, will reach out to the children friendly agency, as soon as the plans are concluded.


The commissioner who acknowledged that the process of keying into the fund is slow, said the state has started the necessary steps to engage with the relevant agencies, stating that "We need to contact the relevant agency before making the move."


 Recent reports indicated that one in four children in Taraba does not receive the minimum dietary requirements essential for proper growth, hence the urgent need for the state government to act.


Health experts, particularly nutritionists, who spoke with our state correspondent on the fund highlighted the CNF as a crucial opportunity for the state government to address the severe nutrition challenges facing children, especially those aged 6-23 months. 


They advocated a proactive investment of a N100 million matching grant to the UNICEF initiative, suggesting it would go a long way in preventing the resurgence of malnutrition rather than just treating its consequences. 


Speaking on the fund, the Nutrition Specialist at UNICEF's Bauchi Field Office, Philomena Irene, noted that if the state contributes N100 million, UNICEF well match the amount with another N100 million .


She emphasized that the primary goal of the fund is to ensure the availability of foods rich in essential minerals and vitamins, which accourding to her, is essential for children's health. 


The fund if provided, she said would also be use in the procurement of necessary supplements for children aged 6-23 months and provide multiple micronutrient supplements to pregnant women, thereby enhancing pregnancy outcomes and reducing anemia.


Announcing that the initiative will as well facilitate the purchase of ready-to-eat therapeutic food for severely malnourished children, UNICEF, as made known by Irene, plans to reach no fewer than 350 million children and women annually by 2030 through the initiative.


Stating that "Investing in the CNF is not just necessary but also a smart choice for the state government to get a significant return by fully fulfilling children's potential."


Neighboring Adamawa state and several other states within the Bauchi field office, as revealed by The Guardian findings have already committed their N100 million matching grants to the Fund, there by setting a precedent for Taraba to cue into.

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